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You had a fabulous idea for a book. You wrote a manuscript. Now what? Let one of our editors bring it full circle. We’ll make sure the words sing your praises as a writer. (Even the best authors have good editors working with them.)
Are you so protective of your work that you don’t want anyone to see it or critique it? If you were to let go of your work so that it could be cleaned up and present in its best form, would you tell the editor that she can’t change anything or make any suggestions? How would that work? Every writer needs an editor. Every manuscript can use a good cleaning. After the editing process and with the manuscript going back and forth between author and editor, the manuscript surely needs a good proofreading. Those steps help to ensure the best end product.
One of the most interesting things (actually we wanted to use the word “frightening” here) in the self-publishing movement where anyone and everyone can be published is the lack of care authors take with their manuscripts before rushing to hit the submit and upload buttons. The companies that are SUPPOSED TO go through the manuscripts, clean them up and edit them don’t all do their jobs well it seems. Otherwise we wouldn’t see so many instances of published books with so many errors or so poorly written that it makes us want to stop reading (or put up bad reviews to warn others not to spend money on these books).
Some of the push back comes from authors who say they cannot afford a good edit. So, let’s get this straight… You spend a whole lot of your time writing your book. You are so close to it that you don’t see the typos or poorly written sections. You perhaps do not want to read your manuscript a few more times. You would rather just submit the manuscript as is. You trust that the company you chose to upload the book into the system will actually do a great edit on your book. But then you either don’t check or just go ahead anyway. WHAT??
The industry standard for editing fees range from about 8 cents per word to maybe 15 cents per word. Most professional editors will work with you regarding your budget and they will likely break payments up to make them affordable and comfortable for you. Even so, once they are done, you need to get your head around reading the manuscript again with your red pen out (because ultimately you should read it on paper vs. online – online you will not find as many issues – our eyes just don’t pick them up as well). Yes, it is more work, but the outcome is so much better. The last step is to hand the cleaned-up, much-improved manuscript to a good proofreader who won’t charge much. If you find a proofreader who also happens to do book reviews… BINGO! Good for you.
After all of that, you need to consider book design.